The Jewish Chronicle
Suspected MP killer’s father defended attacks on Israel
THE FATHER of the man arrested for the murder of Tory MP Sir David Amess posted a series of inflammatory tweets about Israel including one in which he defended Palestinian rocket attacks.
Harbi Ali Kullane, the father of 25-year-old terror suspect Ali Harbi Ali, also responded to the clashes on Temple Mount in 2009 with a warning that Israel did “not know what it is meddling with”.
The posts, which were uncovered by the influential think tank Policy Exchange, have prompted extremism experts to question whether his son may have been motivated to murder the pro-Israel MP by a “grievance culture” against Israel and the West.
In other controversial messages, Mr Kullane, a former diplomat for the Somali government, in 2015 compared the Islamist terror attacks in Paris to the West’s aerial bombing campaign in Syria and posted a tweet in 2017 criticising “the misery inflicted by British colonialism”.
Mr Kullane was a one-time adviser to the former Prime Minister of Somalia, Hassan Ali Khaire, and a director of the then-government’s media and communication department.
According to Mr Kullane’s friends in North London, where he has a home in Bounds Green, he is a
committed anti-extremist who has risked his life to thwart hate groups.
They say he worked on projects against extremism in Mogadishu. One friend, Abdirachid Fidow, who works for not-for-profit organisation Anti-Tribalism Movement, said this week: “(Mr Kullane) worked for a lot of anti-terrorism projects in Mogadishu, fighting against al-Shabaab. He was someone who endangered his own life in public service fighting against extremism.”
Other friends in North London described him as “a liberal”.
But tweets posted by Mr Kullane emerged that cast doubt on those credentials.
On July 19, 2014, he posted a photograph of a hand-written note apparently written by a Palestinian which told how its author’s father had been imprisoned and mother killed by Israel. The note continues: “Bomb my country, starve us all, humiliate us all, but I am to blame: I shot a rocket back.”
Mr Kullane tweets alongside the image: “#Gaza How long can this distorted logic be justified #PalestineUnderAttack”.
In another anti-Israel tweet, written on October 25, 2009, he wrote: “Al-Aqsa: This will be turning point in the map and current state of Middle East. Israel does not know what it is meddling with.”
In a further tweet, written in November 19, 2015, following the Paris terror attack, he said: “The terrorist bombs in the Western streets are indiscriminate but the aerial bombs in Syria are - #Muslimlivesmatter #ParisAttacks”.
On May 8, 2017, referring to a photo featuring the Somali flag, he wrote: “The five pointed star represents the aspiration of a nation and the misery inflicted by British colonialism.”
Mr Kullane’s comments prompted Dr Paul Stott, head of security and extremism at Policy Exchange, to query the former diplomat’s influence on his son.
Dr Stott asked: “Harbi Ali Kullane is the father of suspect Ali Harbi Ali. Harbi Ali Kullane has reportedly received threats from jihadists from the AlShabaab group, in the recent past. But what is the context and nature of these disputes? How much do we know about his broader world view?”
He adds: “Hitherto there has not been any attention paid to the full range of Mr Kullane’s tweets. On social media he has defended Palestinian attacks on Israel, criticised British colonialism in Somalia, and in 2015 compared the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris to bombings carried out by Western powers on targets in Syria. Does this grievance culture concerning violence in the rest of the world influence the potential for violent acts in this country?”
Kullane was contacted for comment.